Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
January 2, 2005
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am
The Second Sunday after Christmas
Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his
glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace
and truth." (John 1:14)
Morning Praise (9:45 am)
Responsive Call to Worship
(see back of bulletin)
"To us a child of hope is
Dedicating a child and his family
(Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)
Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
in a manger"
Returning our Tithes and Offerings
"Whatís a Ďpair of ducksí?"
"Go, my children"
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
"Light in The
One: What was there in the beginning?
All: In the beginning was the Word and the Word
One: How did we have creation?
All: Without him not one thing came into being.
One: What about the darkness?
All: The light shines in the darkness.
One: How do we know about the light?
All: John was sent from God and testified to
One: What was the light?
All: He was the light. . . Jesus Christ was the
One: What did the light do?
All: All who have received the light have the
become children of God.
One: What about the laws of Moses?
All: Grace upon grace has come through Jesus
One: Whom do we thank?
All: All praise and thanksgiving to God!
Mark W. Liller, pastor 28th Street
Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word
Amazing God, you have
confounded the wisdom of this world by coming to us in the form of a
human baby, frail and vulnerable. Help us to comprehend the great
love with which you open yourself to our world, that we in turn may
risk to open ourselves in love toward all your children, and that we
may find the source of our lives in Jesus Christ. Amen.
by Ruth C. Duck, alt.
from Bread for the Journey, 1981, Pilgrim Press. pp. 24-5.
refers to 1 Corinthians 1:18-30
Reading - Luke 2:22-40
Pastor - In the middle of the twelve days of Christmas, we
listen further to the Christmas story as we have received it in
the Bible. It is appropriate on this day to read of Joseph and
Mary bringing their newborn baby, Jesus, to dedicate him in the
Temple in Jerusalem, for a young couple among us are doing the
same today. In the Contemporary English Version of the Bible, we
hear these words:
Worship Leader - The time came for Mary and Joseph to do
what the Law of Moses says a mother is supposed to do after her
baby is born. They took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem and
presented him to the LORD, just as the Law of the LORD says,
"Each first-born baby boy belongs to the LORD." The
Law of the LORD also says that parents have to offer a sacrifice,
giving at least a pair of doves or two young pigeons. So that is
what Mary and Joseph did.
Pastor - At this time a man named Simeon was living in
Jerusalem. Simeon was a good man. He loved God and was waiting for
God to save the people of Israel. Godís Spirit came to him and
told him that he would not die until he had seen Christ the LORD.
Worship Leader - When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to
the temple to do what the Law of Moses says should be done for a
new baby, the Spirit told Simeon to go into the temple. Simeon
took the baby Jesus in his arms and praised God,
Grandfather - "LORD, I am your servant,
and now I can die in peace,
because you have kept your promise to me.
With my own eyes I have seen
what you have done to save your people,
and foreign nations will also see this.
Your mighty power is a light for all nations,
and it will bring honor to your people Israel."
Pastor - Jesusí parents were surprised at what Simeon
had said. Then he blessed them and told Mary,
Grandfather - "This child of yours will cause many
people in Israel to fall and others to stand. The child will be
like a warning sign. Many people will reject him, and you, Mary,
will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger. But all
this will show what people are really thinking."
Grandmother - The prophet Anna was also there in the
temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher,
and she was very old. In her youth she had been married for seven
years, but her husband died. And now she was eighty-four years
old. Night and day she served God in the temple by praying and
often going without eating. At that time Anna came in and praised
God. She spoke about the child Jesus to everyone who hoped for
Jerusalem to be set free.
Worship Leader - After Joseph and Mary had done
everything that the Law of the LORD commands, they returned home
to Nazareth in Galilee. The child Jesus grew. He became strong and
wise, and God blessed him.
a child and his family
On this ninth
day of Christmas, we celebrate new life born among us, and
dedicate ourselves to the task of raising a child in the faith
that - blessed by God (as are all children) - he may become strong
and wise in the Lord. Would the family of Gabriel Alejandro Leon
Cindy, through nine months you waited with great expectation,
watching as Gabriel grew with - month by month. Amid pain and joy
you welcomed this precious one into your life together. Oh, the
sights and sounds (and smells!) of baby have made the last four
months since his arrival a time full of peculiar treasures.
With you, we
celebrate this gift from God, for thatís what he is - a gift.
With you, we give thanks for a baby born with fragile, yet fully
human features reflecting our image and Godís. We give thanks
for family, some of whom have traveled many miles just to be here
this season. We give thanks for the potential and opportunity this
birth heralds, as well as for the challenge and commitment it
calls forth. We give thanks for the joy of this moment and the
promise of Godís continuing presence among us.
Now, in our
tradition, we do not baptize infants. We believe they are under
the grace of God until such a point as they are able, of their own
free will, to respond to Godís faithfulness to them with their
own commitment. Baptism is a powerful step of faith reserved for a
time when a person knows enough to walk by faith. Remember, Jesus
himself was baptized as an adult. Still, his parents, as we just
heard, brought him to the Temple with thanksgiving not long after
his birth. This service wonít involve turtledoves or pigeons,
just a thankful mother and father, some promises to the Lord, and
a child to be consecrated. Letís begin.
Lucinda, Will you, to the best of your ability and with Godís
help, provide a loving family environment in which Gabriel can
grow to become the person God wants him to be, a man of faith and
faithfulness to his Creator?
If so, say "we will."
community is a vital part of helping a child grow strong and wise
in the Lord. Itís a blessing to know others are ready to assist
- teachers, mentors, or just plain friends. Will you support and
love Gabriel by providing the opportunity for him to grow up in
the family of faith, with the hope that, as he becomes a man, he
will follow Jesus, confessing Christ as his Lord and Savior?
If so, say "we will."
encourage Gabriel to grow in faith, so that he might later be
received into the fellowship of the body of Christ by baptism,
fully partaking in the work and worship of His church?
If so, say "we will."
Would the rest
of you turn to #791 in your hymnal. As we read this together, we
are standing with this young couple, and with their parents and
family who are here to also pledge their support. With these
words, we speak for ourselves, as well as for the larger church of
Jesus Christ, which is wider than our fellowship. Please stand ...
and make our vow.
offered your child
to the strong and tender providence of God.
We rejoice with
you and give thanks
for the gift of your child.
We promise, with
humility and seriousness,
to share in your childís nurture & well-being.
We will support,
by our example and words,
your efforts to provide a loving & caring home,
where trust in God grows and Christís way is chosen.
Our prayers will
be with you and for you.
May our shared
life and witness
help make your task both joyful and fruitful.
seated. Now, if Gabriel is agreeable, let me introduce him to the
(holding him so that he faces
gently walk down the aisle and back
so that all might see. Upon return,
holding him face to face,
consecrate him thus:)
Alejandro Leon, you are dedicated to the Lord. May all the
resources of home, family, and church nurture you and encourage
toward your own decision for Jesus Christ.
you for Gabriel. He is your child. Bless him all the days of his
life. Give to his parents, his family, and his church what we need
to raise him in the faith. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.
written closer to the time (if not at the
our Tithes and Offerings
Under the Christmas tree, I found a gift that said, "do not
open until Christmas." Inside was a piece of paper that said,
"peace on earth, good will to all." I think Christmas
comes everyday. What will we give this day?
by Ron Martin-Adkins
Washington City (DC) Church of the Brethren
from Coming to Life: Worship Aids for the Living Peace Church
Advent 2004, On Earth Peace (Church of the Brethren)
On the night
when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when
he had given thanks, he broke it and shared it with his disciples.
When the apostle Paul wrote these words to the believers in Corinth
(a Greek town), he used the word "eucharistesas," which we
translate as "having given thanks." Thatís why we
sometimes call this sharing or communion of bread and cup the
"eucharist." It all has to do with "giving
On this first
Sunday of a brand new year, we pause and come to the Lordís table.
Along the way, we give thanks. Now, like our table graces at home,
this may just be a formality before we dig in and eat and drink.
Even this formality is fading in many homes, however, as scattered
and harried lives pull us away from whatís truly important.
Remember back to
that fateful evening when Jesus gathered in the upper room with his
closest followers. What did he have to be thankful for at that
moment? Soon, as he knew, events would quickly flow from a garden of
tears to a courtroom of jeers. You know the rest. Why give thanks
when the road ahead was that terrifying? And yet, even then Jesus
gave thanks. Makes you wonder. Better put, it fills you with wonder.
"paradox" of our faith that being thankful isnít
dependent upon everything being just right. We can give thanks even
in the middle of the night, for instance, with a colicky baby in our
arms. We can give thanks even when more than bread is broken in
life, when things seem to fall apart. Why? Because the One in whom
"all things hold together" (Colossians
1:17) is with us. We are not in this alone. With bread and
cup in hand, we remember who we are in Christ Jesus - blessed,
forgiven, chosen, adopted, redeemed. God in Christ has lavished his
grace upon us. We have caught a glimpse of the mystery of Godís
will. We have a purpose in life, even though at times we lose sight
of it. The Holy Spirit blows through this upper room, as well as
through every room of our lives. How can we not be thankful?
(Deacons comes forward as these next familiar words
Therefore, all who
are in love and fellowship in the family of God, who do truly and
earnestly repent of our sins, who humbly put our trust in Christ,
and who desire his help that we might walk in newness of life, are
invited to draw near to God and receive - with thanksgiving - this
holy communion to our comfort, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Pray with me.
Lord God, our
hearts are still full of what we have just celebrated, the birth of
the baby Jesus, as well as the birth of baby Gabriel whom we have
dedicated this morning. We know that there is much more to the year
than Christmas, that there is more to life than infancy, that there
is more to the greatest story ever told than its beginning. Soon our
worshiping remembrance will take us to the cross and beyond.
Just now we pause
with you in this upper room. In flesh and blood you came in Christ
Jesus, fully God and fully man. With bread and cup we remember the
way of our salvation in Him, through pain and joy, through
crucifixion and resurrection, through death and life - in the midst
of it all giving thanks.
hearts we share these simple items - just a piece of unleavened
bread and just a taste of the fruit of the vine. We ask your
blessing upon them, and upon us as we eat and drink them. We
remember, and as we remember, we know you are with us still. Thank
(Distribute the bread as the organ softly plays)
"This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in
remembrance of me." Take and eat.
(Distribute the cup as the organ softly plays)
"This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my
blood. do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me."
Take and drink.
(giving thanks in the moment, not written out)